Laboratory of magnetospheric physics

Short name: LMP

Parent structure unit:

Phone: +7 495 939 24 88


Laboratory of magnetosheric physics

The laboratory of magnetospheric physics (LMP) was irganized in 1971 simultaneously with the Deaprtment of theoretical and applied space physics as one of its units basing on the first MSU space experimental and design laboratory. DSc. Elmar Sosnovets became its first Head and stayed at this position till the last in 2004. Since that time and up to present PhD. Vladimir Tulupov is an acting Head of the Laboratory.

The main direction of the research is experimental studies of the processes in the Earth's magnetosphere, important for space exploration. The scientists of the Laboratory took part in the first SINP experiments in the field of the near-Earth space physics, including discovery of the outer radiation belt of the Earth (1958) by means of the experiment onboard the 3d satellite. The structure, composition and dynamics of the Earth's radiation belts, ring current were studied in details during the experiments onboard the satellites of the "Elektron", "Molniya", "Kosmos", etc. series.

During the second half of 1960s the Academician Sergey Vernov initiated the development of the concept of space radiation monitoring directly onboard spacecrafts. The monitoring was based on specialized satellites of the "Prognoz" series and serial communications, navigation and TV satellites "Molniya" and "Kosmos". Beginning from 1990s the program of the global radiation monitoring was leaded by Elmar Sosnovets. Scientific equipment developed by the Laboratory scientists was mounted and curently is mounted onboard the satellites of the GLONASS, "Elektro", "Meteor", "Gals", "Express", "Gorizont", etc.

The main monitoring purposes are the following:
- to obtain new experimental data in order to solve the key problems in the field of the Earth's magnetospheric physics;
- to evaluate the level of radiation influence on the spacecrafts;
- to test and to improve existent dynamical models of the radiation fields and to develop the new ones.

Due to the experiments onboard the spacecrafts a number of fundamental resulsts in the field of magnetospheric physics was obtained, in particular, the following:
1) The scientists of the Laboratory developed and manufactured energy-mass-spectrometers in order to study chemical composition of hot plasma in the Earth's magnetosphere. Using them onboard high-apogee and geostationary satellites the scientists have obtained new data on composition and dynamics of multi-component ion ring current responsible for geomagnetic storms generation. They have shown an important role of ionospheric plasma in the ring current production and have explained mechanism of particles injection from magnetosphere theoretically. This research were of significant importance for understanding of physics of the processes associated with generation of hot plasma and high-energy particles in the inner magnetosphere. PhD. Alexander Kavtukh, DSc. Mikhail Panasyuk and DSc. Elmar Sosnovets got the Lomonosov Prize for this research.
2) Discovery of the accelerated electrons with energy of ~15 MeV in the middle of the radiation belts at the phase of geomagnetic storms recovery became the most important in its manifestation disturbing typical spatial-energetic structure of electron belts. It was made by Evgeny Gorchakov (1977) during the experiment onboard the satellite "Kosmos-900" with the scientific equipment developed by a scientific team supervised by Yuri Kutuzov. This discovery lead to a problem of relativistic electrons generation inside geomagnetic trap, which is being studied up to present.
3) Appearence of relativistic electrons during the phase of magnetic storms recovery results in failures and even end of spacecrafts operation. The Leading scientist of the Laboratory Lyudmila Tverskaya obtained empirical expression for the correspondence of the maximum of reativistic electrons injected during the magnetic storms (Lmax) and the magnetic storm amplitude |Dst|max=2,75•104•L-4max. This equation can be used in order to predict the extreme latitudinal location of such magnetospheric plasma formations as the bounary of the trapped radiation zone, night equatorial boundary of the auroral oval, the center of the western electrojet during the storm.

During 1980-1990s the Laboratory scientists took active part in the development of a number of standards of physical phenomena in space. In 1991 a model of spatial-energy distribution of the trapped particles (protons and electrons) fluxes in the Earth's radiation belts (SINP-1991) was developed. Currently the scientists develop dynamical models.

The scientists of the Laboratory cooperate with many scientific centers: IKI RAS, IMBP RAS, IAG of Rosgidromet, Scientific center of the Earth's monitoring of JSC "Russian Space Systems", JSC "Informational satellite systems" named after M.F. Reshetnev, Novosibirsk State University.

The Laboratory scientists take active part in the development of the new experiments onboard different spacecrafts and in the analysis of the obtained information within the frames of the program "Priorities of MSU development up to 2020", direction 3: "The studies of the structure of matter and space, space technologies application" and in implementation of space radiation monitoring system.